The area behind our home is wooded and a breeding ground for ticks. When our dog was alive we would find ticks constantly on her and throughout our home. Now we don’t find them as frequently, but when we do they’re on our socks, shorts and shoes.
According to the CDC:
Ticks live in moist and humid environments, particularly in or near wooded or grassy areas. You may come into contact with ticks during outdoor activities around your home or when walking through leaf litter or near shrubs.
There are many types of ticks out there, but the deer tick is of concern since Lyme disease is caused by bacteria transmitted by the deer tick.
Here are a few important tick facts to remember:
- Not all deer ticks are infected with the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.
- Ticks can only crawl; they cannot fly or jump.
- The deer tick passes through four life stages (egg, larva, nymph, adult), over a two year period
- Ticks are around throughout the year, not just the summer! Ticks can be active on winter days when the ground temperatures are above 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
After your kids come in from playing outside it’s always a good idea to check for ticks.
Here are some helpful tips for that tick check:
Check your clothing for ticks. We actually take out clothes off after spending a lot of time outside. Ticks can easily end up on your clothing -especially socks. They then start making their way up your body to a warmer spot.
Take a Shower after time outside. Showering within two hours of coming indoors has been shown to reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease. This is also a perfect time to do a tick check.
Check your body for ticks after being outside. We generally do a tick check at night before bed. For younger kids have them put their arms out in a T position. Check all body parts and pay close attention to these areas (suggestions from the CDC):
- Under the arms
- In and around the ears
- Inside belly button
- Back of the knees
- In and around the hair
- Between the legs
- Around the waist
If you find a tick, don’t panic! HERE’s info on tick removal.
Have you ever had a tick? What did you do to remove it? What do you do to protect yourself from Lyme disease?